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What Do You See Little Orange Fellow?

Archie Answers

By Roy StevensPublished 5 months ago 4 min read
One of Archie's favourite spots. Silvervine grows where he's lying.

A Brief Introduction: Archie was an unnamed stray who lived for a while in our backyard. One night he was attacked by coyotes who lived in a den not far from our home. Though we heard at least two of the coyotes squealing in pain we had to assume that the beautiful little orange cat I'd just started to try to make friends with was dead.

About a week and a half later I was finishing up exercising in our basement when I looked up at a window. I was surprised to see the orange cat very emaciated and in obvious distress peering in at me. In my earlier attempt to befriend him I'd given him three or four small bowls of kibble (he always hissed at me just before tucking in to the food) so I can only guess he associated our place with his last hope for food. With his badly injured front left leg there was no way he could hunt.

We borrowed a live trap from the cat shelter we volunteered with, eventually caught him in a torrential downpour and got him to the shelter for help. It turned out he was a very affectionate cat who only hissed out of fear and anxiety at the giant stranger coming close to him. His leg couldn't be saved but we managed to adopt him and give him a loving (doting) forever home. Here's Archie's sensory poem.

What do you see little orange fellow?

“Oh, things are more red when they used to be yellow. *

Still the grass has turned green, and the white stuff is gone.

And now I feel good when I roll on the lawn.

Time has run quickly Roy, between you and me,

And though I’ve become slower I’m still happy to be

A part of this family which welcomed a cat,

Who’d wandered past boundaries to hunt mole, mouse and rat.”

What do you hear my quiet listening friend?

“A world you’ll never know, and I wish I could lend

These ears that can hear the growth of a leaf,

The sound of a cloud and what crawls underneath

These layers of ground and put to the test,

These fabulous instruments which perceive my world best.

There are dimensions I hear which paint pictures for me

That you limited apes are unable to see.

Whole universes brimming with magical sound,

Beyond your perception, lives unimagined, unfound!”

What do you taste with that rough raspy tongue?

“Well, to start with what I don’t taste is more readily sung.

I don’t perceive sweetness, my receptors don’t know it,

You crave sugars, things for which I don’t give a shit.

It’s beyond me, but I confess I adore,

The flavour of mouse so I seek for the spore,

And the trail of that kind, and the taste of a fish

Is a delicate treasure for which I could wish.”

And what do you smell with that tiny nose twitching?

“It’s bigger than you think so just take back your bitching.

My nose is a powerhouse of great olfactory nerves,

That follows my prey as it runs, dashes and swerves.

It also allows me to pinpoint that scent,

Of the catnip you’ve hidden ‘bove the oven top vent.

So off you go quick and fetch it for me,

Plus my bros Phillip, Bennie and goofy Toby.

We’re not getting younger while our stash of catnip waits,

For us to lick, snort and roll in, to enjoy while it sates.”

I wonder what you feel, is your long missing leg there?

“Sometimes it’s as if I’m dreaming when out of nowhere

I feel a tickle or the wind in the fur,

Of the limb that I’ve lost, and it seems like a blur,

Since the years I could feel the ground beneath those pads

As if it was real. Us male cats are left pawed. ** I usually had,

The habit of cleaning my face with that leg pulling and skimming

The days worldly grime off while the light begins dimming.”

I know that little buddy that’s why I try to be sure,

To provide you my right hand which you lick as you purr.

And then we wash you with the wetness still there

As my fingers brush down and straighten the hair

That gets rustled and tussled by your daily travels,

Through the backyard and house as adventure unravels.

Archie, for as long as I’m able I’ll be there beside you,

Your bipedal guard dog to watch over and view,

The landscape beyond for all possible threat.

My three-legged buddy ever since we first met!

*Archie had a hypertensive incident recently which caused his left eye to fill with blood. His condition is under control now and he’s healing well, but even though the blood in his eye has drained he still has red staining on his cornea. Whether or not he sees red still can’t actually be determined. I hope not.

**Most male house cats are left pawed, but not all.

An old guy enjoying sunshine and birdsong


About the Creator

Roy Stevens

Just one bad apple can spoil a beautiful basket. The toxins seep throughout and...

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

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Comments (8)

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  • Donna Fox5 months ago

    Roy, that was a a beautiful story and poem! You have such a genuine character about you, this was so heart warming for me to read! I loved the rhyme scheme of you poem and I love the little fact about male cats at the end. I never realized both of my boys are left pawed. 😻

  • Jay Kantor5 months ago

    'Sup Roy ~ You tug at my heart by sharing all of your relatable stories! My Corgi was attacked by a pit-bull and lost the use of her rear legs - I carried her everywhere - with pleasure! Jay Kantor, Chatsworth, California 'Senior' Vocal Author - Vocal Author Community -

  • L.C. Schäfer5 months ago

    I did not know that (about being left pawed) 😁 I love a poem that teaches me something 😁 This bit was m favourite, "There are dimensions I hear which paint pictures for me/That you limited apes are unable to see." That's how I imagine dogs smell 😁

  • So beautiful & sweet. We have always been a family of rescues, & they have blessed us immensely.

  • Abby Kay Mendonca5 months ago

    Oh. I love love cats 🐈 Archie seems to be a very sweet boy 💓. I loved the part about his raspy tongue, especially. He seems to be a very lucky pet

  • Cathy holmes5 months ago

    Aww. This is wonderful. He is so sweet.

  • Donna Renee5 months ago

    Awww I’m so glad he got a cozy and loving home after his ordeal! I loved how you put some cat sass in his voice in this 🤣😁

  • Kendall Defoe 5 months ago

    A very Dylaneseque ballad!

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